The Never-ending Quest for User Engagement

Everyone is on the Internet. Your friends, your family, grandma and grandpa- it wouldn’t be surprising if your dog was online, too. But they aren’t just on the Internet – they are on Facebook and Twitter, tweeting and liking their time away. The massive empire that is social media seems to cast a giant shadow which spans not only the nation, but the globe. Now, businesses of all shapes and sizes are turning to these social networks in an attempt to captivate consumers. But how exactly do we captivate these consumers? In a world of people short on time and attention, how do we engage them and keep them engaged? • Make it personal. This seems to go against the law of good business, which encourages detachment and professionalism. But with social media we are seeing a trend in appealing to our consumer’s more personal side by providing them with personal details – and its working. By making your business seem more human, you are making yourself relatable and thus more appealing to consumers. People are easier to talk to then faceless companies. • Whip out the photo album. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never …

The Most Important Ranking Factors for Local SEO

The Google search algorithm is a tricky creature. It is akin to a coat of many colors, whose hues is constantly in flux. What may improve your ranking may hurt you tomorrow, and the only way to keep up is to stay ahead of the curve. The factors that affect your ranking are numerous, and carry varying degrees of importance. But determining which of these factors is the most influential can be difficult, especially where local SEO can be involved. Location, industry, audience, keywords- all can impact who you rank above, and who you rank below. Although you may receive different answers if you talk to different SEO gurus, here are some of the commonly agreed upon factors that are likely to be vital to your rank locally: 1. Location. Your address should be reflective of your keywords and vice versa. If you are a professional cowboy from El Paso, Texas, then your ranking for “professional cowboy El Paso, TX” would be relatively high, as that is where your address is, while your ranking for “professional cowboy Boston, Massachusetts” would probably be nonexistent. 2. Business categorization. Make sure that you are categorized appropriately. Not only does this make you easier …

Social media and your small business

Small businesses are increasingly aware of the fact that they need to start engaging with their loyal customers in the spaces where their customers spend time, and that this means they need to establish a presence on the various popular social media platforms used by their current and prospective customers. Having this recognition doesn’t give them any clue on where to start however, so we’ve assembled a few quick tips that business owners can do to get up and running as quickly as possible: • Go where your customers are – This can mean creating a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a bunch of Pinterest content, or whatever your customers frequently use. Identify the social media that has the most influence with your target demographic, and build a presence there. • Engage with Customers – Once you have a presence, make sure you actually use it. An empty Facebook page or a Twitter account with no content doesn’t look good; make sure you actually engage and interact with customers on these platforms. • Use Metrics – Once you are actively engaging customers, actively track their response to your campaign. You can Tweet special coupon codes for example, so you can …

Don’t Miss the Mobile Marketing Boat!

Today it is nearly impossible to go anywhere without finding yourself surrounded by a fleet of smartphone users, their eyes glazed and glued to the tiny screens as they shuffle mindlessly from one place to the other. The hold our mobile phones have over us is only increasing, and advertisers have taken notice. Mobile ads and apps are rising in popularity almost as much as smartphones themselves.

Take a Lesson From Amicus and Create New Ways to Relate to Your Customers

One of the reasons for the explosion in popularity of social media marketing has been the fact that when you engage customers on many different levels simultaneously (one of the great strengths of social media platforms in general,) you drastically increase the opportunity of doing commercial business with them at the same time. Consider; how many times have you been roped into purchasing Girl Scout cookies because a co-worker’s child was selling them? How many boxes of cheese and sausage have you bought because your niece was raising money for a school trip? The fact is, the more you have in common with people, and the more you engage with them, the more likely they are to be willing to spend money with you, even when they would not normally do so. So how does Amicus fit into this? They have done a fantastic job using existing channels of communication to drastically increase conversion rates. What the app does specifically is find connective threads between people using data scraped from social media sites to hopefully increase the rate at which these people make charitable donations to causes. For example, it may help a non-profit send out fundraising messages that point …

Seven Cost Effective Branding Options for Small Businesses

When people think of brands, they almost immediately leap to the huge corporate monsters; industry behemoths like Coca-Cola, Nike, or Apple. Small business branding is no different, and yet many mistakenly believe that since they don’t have the kind of money these multinationals do, they don’t stand to gain much from branding. Some even go farther and forego thinking about their branding entirely; these people couldn’t be more shortsighted. Here are seven steps, each of which is inexpensive and cost effective, that even small businesses can use to increase their branding success: 1. Get a logo – Usually, most people think this step comes a little later in a businesses’ life. The earlier on you take care of this detail however, the easier it is to begin incorporating the logo in to your brand efforts. Take advantage of freelancers to get this done at a very reasonable rate. 2. Make business cards – You should have these as soon as possible. Never make the mistake of printing your own; this really makes you look unprofessional and inexperienced. There are economical solutions for this you can take advantage of, that will cost you very little money. 3. Font selection – Some …

How Obama Optimized His Web Presence – And SEO Mistakes to Avoid!

It’s no secret that president Obama had a commanding lead over his last presidential opponent in terms of social media engagement. So how did he do as of the night of the election; was there still a lead, or did Mr. Romney close some of the difference? Are there any lessons that can be applied to businesses in terms of how either candidate optimized their web presence?

Monetizing Your Social Media Presence

Businesses are just beginning to grapple with the massive undertaking of taking social media and actually wrestling a profit out of it. While there are outliers, pioneers in their field, who have successfully monetized their social media presence, for most companies it remains a pipe dream. In this article, we are going to look at three, extremely broad conceptual ways of monetizing your site using social media, in an attempt to inspire ideas that may work for your business: 1. Monetize through building brand awareness – These days, customers are used to having an almost bewildering amount of choices they are able to select from when it comes to communication channels. The more options you are able to present to the general public, the more likely it is that you will hook any given individual in, and get them to engage with your marketing campaign. 2. Monetize through audience engagement – Many businesses get caught up in the idea of making sure their sites have fresh content, and forget to tap into one of their most powerful resources; their customers themselves. Take advantage of your customers, and really take the opportunity to engage them in dialogue whenever you can. This …